Continuous improvement of workplace safety at Daman Products Company, Inc. has received recognition from Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, a Michigan-based provider of workers’ compensation insurance (view link).
Representatives from Daman will receive the Workplace Safety Achievement Award from Accident Fund Insurance on June 19, 2012, during a presentation at Daman’s headquarters in Mishawaka, Ind.
The hydraulic fluid power manufacturer gained attention for its safety record in part due to a customized, angled nut runner first installed at Daman in August 2011. The automated torque multiplier replaced a manual operation that had caused a series of repetitive motion injuries.
“Daman has always held a strong belief in workplace safety,” Krysten Shoulders, Human Resources Manager, explained. “It’s a key element of our philosophy of continuous improvement.”
Daman rarely has work-related injuries. However, Shoulders and others realized that production workers had suffered from five significant repetitive motion injuries between 2005 and 2010. An internal continuous improvement team consulted with physicians and ergonomics consultants, as well as representatives from Accident Fund, to identify ways to help workers who needed to apply force and strength to tighten or loosen vises used every day in machining fluid power control parts.
The torque multiplier automatically torques vises and replaces the manual operation that had led to the company’s repetitive motion injuries.
Production managers who customized the torque multiplier knew almost immediately that it would improve employee safety, according to Neil Henderson, continuous improvement manager. “It allowed us to eliminate the vise handle from one of our horizontal machining centers.”
Henderson intends to install five more torque multipliers on Daman’s production floor this year.
“The implementation of this tool will improve ergonomics and reduce shoulder-related industries for Daman’s workers,” Ryan Lambert, Accident Fund WorkSafe consultant, said. “Accident Fund is proud to partner with agents and policyholders who take workplace safety so seriously.”
Repetitive motion injuries (RMI) rank among the top five most common work injuries in the manufacturing industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Caused by work activities performed in awkward postures, with high forces, or using repetitive motion, RMIs also are the most costly occupational health problem. RMIs cost more than $20 billion a year in workers compensation, according to estimates by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.